Regrading the selection of Kevin Porter Jr.
For much of the pre-draft process, Kevin Porter Jr. was seen as a lottery prospect, an athletic guard who was dynamic with the ball in his hands. Then his freshman season at USC was marred by conflicts and off-court incidents, and it caused the talented guard to drop in the 2019 Draft.
The Cavaliers decided he had fallen far enough when he reached pick No. 30. They traded four first-round picks and $5 million in cash to trade into the first round and take Porter Jr. with the final pick of the round.
On the one hand, Porter Jr. has had a really solid career for a player taken 30th overall; in a 2019 redraft he probably goes sooner than 30th. He averaged a career-best 19.2 points per game this past season along with 5.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists. While he is not particularly efficient, and remains a matador on defense, he has talent and has figured out how to score in the NBA.
The tricky part in evaluating the Cavs, however, is that they didn’t reap any of the benefits of Porter Jr.’s development. After a tumultuous rookie season the Cavs washed their hands of the guard, dumping him on the Houston Rockets for a single second-round pick just a year after trading four to draft him.
Add in the solid two-way players that went soon after him in the draft (including Nic Claxton, Daniel Gafford and Terance Mann) and the fact that he fell in the draft for behavioral issues that the Cavs were not equipped to manage, and it seems like this was a mistake all around for the team.